psst , , , photogs . . .

wanna hear some of my post processing secrets . . . ?

One of this year’s commitments of mine is to post more on some of the things i do behind the scenes- whether they’d be shooting techniques, post processing techniques or whatever. My shooting and post processing style is a combination of what I’ve learned from other people, from reading and from trial and error. Wherever a certain knowledge or trick or tip originated, my goal is to give my clients the best i could possibly give them.

One thing you should know about me is that i don’t release ANY images untouched, right out of camera (ROOC). When people wonder why it takes us few weeks to turn a wedding or portrait session around, there is a good reason. The reason is i color correct our images. Every image that i am going to release. And this process takes a little bit of time. Sometimes a long time. I do this because images right out of camera are not good enough to me. They do not meet my quality standards. I know there’s a way to make my images better and i believe my clients deserve the best so i take the time to edit their photos.

So here’s an example . . .

I shot a portrait of Hunter, for his high school portraits. First, i positioned him where there’s good light on his face. That’s very important and sometimes could be difficult. Finding the light. You find the light, you can create some kick-ass photographs.

Charleston Wedding Photographers Virgil Bunao psst , , , photogs . . .

I shot this at around 4pm, earlier this month, with my Canon 5D Mark II, 85mm 1.2L at Av=1.8, 1/1,250 sec, ISO 100. No flash. All natural light.

Charleston Wedding Photographers Virgil Bunao psst , , , photogs . . .

I then uploaded the photo and opened it Photoshop. I adjusted the levels about 20% to increase the brightness. I like the colors of his eyes and his hair so i thought by adjusting the brightness, it would make the colors pop more. With my last step below, it would make the colors pop even more . . .

Charleston Wedding Photographers Virgil Bunao psst , , , photogs . . .

The last time, i used Kevin Kubota’s “KevX process Combo” action from Kevin Kubota Artistic Pack. I am not a big fan of running actions at 100% opacity. I like having my own look not just another “action” look. And besides, i believe that actions are made for us to explore some creative possibilities. So with this image, I ran the action on the image and reduced the opacity to 40-50%, down to my liking.

I then resized for my needs and ran my sharpened action, from Kevin Kubota’s Production Pack, KPD Magic Sharp. My images do not leave the studio without applying this action to them. I like this action that much. It gives me a more “alive” look.

So check out the before and after . . .

Charleston Wedding Photographers Virgil Bunao psst , , , photogs . . .

Well, that’s all folks. Did you like the lesson? If so, leave me a comment and let me know. Maybe i’ll post more tricks in the next few days . . .

much love,



Well, I think you did a great job here. I don’t always use actions but, when I do never at 100%… And what a wonderful idea showing everyone how much editing you must do to “each” shot.
Thank you for shearing and I look forward to seeing more!

Joellen Rogers

This tip is great! I especially like the before and after right next to each other. I always wondered how the professionals do it! 🙂

MORE! nice work… learning more about spiffy “actions” etc. are great! you are wonderful to share!

Thanks Allison for your comment. I’ll make sure i post some more on this topic.

Allison Richardson

Thanks for sharing Virgil! I love hearing how other photogs process and such. It is a never-ending learning process, that’s for sure. 🙂

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